New job offer on the table? As recruitment specialists, we come across many candidates, who are actively on the market or engaged with (sometimes quite a few!) opportunities on their desk. For individuals in this position, it can be hard to know when to accept or reject a job offer. 

Sometimes a job can sound too good to be true. Sometimes we can be blinded by what’s on offer. And sometimes, we can purely just be overwhelmed! 

So to help out, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you recognise when NOT to accept.

Red flags on offer

1. Unaligned values:

If your values and priorities are totally out of alignment with the job offer, it’s probably worth reconsidering.

While many of us are adaptive in the workforce there are certain boundaries we must know within ourselves. When our core values as a professional or individual are compromised the resulting toll can often lead to poor work, mental burnout, and general resentment/hostility in the workplace. 

While it’s great to be open to new ways of working or developing alternative priorities, it is essential to know your limits. Try writing a list of your core values and have them on hand when reviewing your options. 

2. Glass ceiling:

If a role won’t allow you to achieve your goals or build the skills and experience you need to reach your target, then it might not be the right fit for you.

Limited career expansion or professional growth, sometimes known as a ‘glass ceiling’ within the workplace, does not lie solely on an employer. It is a responsibility for both management and the candidate to review in advance. Question what growth options are available and see if the business you’re reviewing is able to meet the path you’re wanting to take.

Map out your ideal scenario and see what opportunities best match your goals. Steer away from those who are not equipped to accommodate you in this way anytime in the near future.


3. Bad juju:

A big red flag to take note of is one of the most obvious, yet often overlooked. If you don’t get a good vibe from the company, it’s A-OKAY to walk away!

If you work full time, you’re going to be spending at least 40 hours a week at your place of employment. That’s roughly 160 hrs a month and a whopping 2,000 hrs on average, a year. For this kind of time investment to be sustainable, you’re best to enjoy where you work!

Sadly, where you work won’t be enjoyable if you don’t like who you’re working with or the conditions you’re working within. 

Check for culture before signing the dotted line. Take the ‘good vibes only’ approach and evaluate if the business is a fit for you on a more personal level. Does it pass the ‘gut feel’ test?

4. On call 24/7:

Ask yourself the question, will there be work-life balance? Be sure to highlight whatever form that takes for YOU.

Is there support within the business for times where things may be getting on top of you? Will the setup have you constantly feeling burnt out? Or is it built on a structure that you value as balanced?

Once again, we highly advise noting your dream work/life balance in advance. Compare your options to evaluate what will see you in the best position to create the life you’re after.

If this includes added requirements like WFH opportunities or flexible hours for school pick-ups etc these are all things you should bring to the table in advance. Be open with your future employer, whichever option you choose to pursue.


5. No time to shine:

In a role where we can’t use our strengths, we may procrastinate and feel bored. With this in mind, be wary of a role where you aren’t able to showcase your strengths or apply yourself to what you enjoy doing.

While it’s not about owning the spotlight, it’s okay to note that everyone is entitled to feel valued and appreciated in their role. Human nature is to feel most confident when we are feeling competent. So finding a role where we have a balance between being challenged and feeling in control is important to our mental health and morale. 

Keep a record of what your strengths are, what you enjoy most, and what areas could use some improvement! Aim for a role that will tap into all three to keep you feeling interested, motivated, and happy.

6. Apples and oranges:

Selecting where you’re going to base yourself for the foreseeable future shouldn’t be left to chance. Make sure you get the facts and compare apples with apples before committing yourself.

Get advice from an industry expert. Speak to mentors and run the opportunity by them. Better yet, speak to a recruitment specialist that knows your industry inside and out. Specialists and mentors within the sector will have greater insight into what is currently, or should be, on offer. Giving you the perspective needed to ensure the offer on display is competitive and in line with what else is out there.


It can be very flattering and exciting to be offered a role, but it can mean you become blinded to the realities of the job. It’s important to recognise not every role will be the best fit for you. Always take the time to really think about the offer and how it will benefit you, and your career in the future. 

If you are unsure about an opportunity or simply want to discuss your options, please reach out to one of our consultants. We’re here to help you find that perfect match – whatever that may look like for you.

Sign up to our newsletter for monthly advice, industry updates and free resources.